Thanksgiving Means More Meals From Food Banks

By United Way of King County, on November 24, 2021 | In Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, Fighting Homelessness, Racial Equity

This year King County-area food banks will continue a longstanding Thanksgiving tradition of filling baskets with extra items to tie over the holiday weekend.

United Way of King County is proud to partner with organizations that ensure families struggling with food insecurity have more than enough free, hearty and nutritious food this holiday. Each week, United Way joins DoorDash, Cascadia Produce and dozens of food banks in an innovative approach to providing hunger relief for thousands of people in King County. And Thanksgiving week is no exception.

Yet while the regular average delivery box is about 20 pounds of food, Thanksgiving deliveries call for 35 pounds of food.

The delivery method is the same, an approach that may ultimately redefine food outreach: Each week, food banks box essential groceries, a DoorDash driver picks up the food and delivers to King County households as far north as Shoreline and as far south as Federal Way. A delivery method prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has eliminated for many the need to visit food banks. This program has enabled us to provide deliveries to more than 5,400 households per week.

This week several food providers used the DoorDash home delivery program to dole out extra pounds of food, including:

  • White Center Food Bank in West Seattle
  • Highline Community Pantry at Highline College in Des Moines
  • Covington Storehouse in Covington
  • Federal Way Multi-Service Center in Federal Way
  • Community Bible Fellowship in Renton

Most of the food banks that provided Thanksgiving food had commenced their deliveries by Tuesday and are expected to be closed the remainder of the week. Only Community Bible Fellowship is slated to be open on Wednesday for deliveries.

Many families who have reached out during the Thanksgiving holiday struggle to put food on their tables year-round. Many do not have access to federal assistance programs like SNAP and TANF.

“A lot of families who reach out usually don’t have any resources for food access,” said Randy Nguyen, United Way internal HungerCorps coordinator. “A lot of families reach out and ask if they can have access to food on a weekly basis. I get about 60 to 80 emails in a day, and there are about 20-25 enrollments a day.

“It’s a lot,” Nguyen added. “Coming from a low-income family myself I see that struggle. A lot of low-income families that reach out are from diverse neighborhoods, or low-income communities, so having access is very hard too. Given the number of emails I get, it’s amazing that these families do have these resources to reach out for.”

To address racial inequities and the disproportionate impact on communities of color, United Way is targeting support throughout the county. Currently, 70% of food box delivery recipients identify as Black, Indigenous or as a person of color.

In addition to holiday staples such as turkey and stuffing, United Way is also partnering with communities to provide more culturally appropriate food. And some food banks are providing $75 gift cards via DoorDash.

For many families in King County, it adds up to more fixings, and less fretting, during the Thanksgiving holiday.

If you’re interested in helping provide food for King County families during Thanksgiving and beyond, donate today. 


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